Gov seeks public input on how to spend American Rescue Plan funds

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordons created a “Strike Team” team to compile proposals for the funds Wyoming received from the American Rescue Plan. According to Gordon’s office, there are more than $3 billion in proposals that the Strike Team is evaluating.

Many of these proposals will not qualify for the $1 billion of American Rescue Plan funds, but could qualify for other one-time funds or be funded through the new Infrastructure funding package, says the Governor’s office.

“In some cases these proposals benefit from years of public input to develop strategic plans and emerging ideas. Others have come from more recent experience,” Gordon said. “I appreciate the many bold and forward-looking proposals that have emerged. Nevertheless, I know we can only fund a portion of them. So a lot of work has to be done to refine this list of ideas. Wyoming must continue to support our core industries, support our social needs, and enhance economic opportunity into the future.”

Governor Gordon emphasized that he hopes the public will stay involved in the process. “We will continue to provide the opportunity for feedback in this endeavor right up until the legislative session in February,” he added. In December the Governor will present his proposal for how to spend the American Rescue Plan funds Wyoming received. Distribution after that point will be decided by the Legislature. The American Rescue Plan has a timeline that dollars must be spent by the end of 2026, which provides additional time for strategic evaluation.

Some of the big ideas include:

  • Investing in housing, spurring more supply for workforce, working families, veterans and the homeless.
  • Carbon capture and storage facilities to support the drive towards commercialization.
  • Small business support programs.
  • Expansion of broadband connectivity.
  • Funding the Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust to improve habitat.
  • A grant program for new outdoor recreation facilities and trails.
  • A grant program for health care and human service facilities.
  • Workforce development grants for students to get new skills and jobs while meeting industry needs.
  • Telehealth investments.
  • Suicide prevention funding.
  • Support for emergency medical services.
  • Water infrastructure improvements.
  • Two new state parks.
  • Wildlife and highway crossings.

The American Rescue Plan requires that all funds be obligated by the end of 2024 and spent by 2026. Comments on these proposals can continue through the Legislative session, which starts February 14, 2022. The Governor’s website has information on the projects and a page where the public can provide input.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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